Making the Leap to High Performance by Becky Slate, Social

Please enjoy this excellent post by Becky Slate of Social

Recently, Mario Morino, Chairman of Venture Philanthropy Partners, delivered a compelling speech at the City Club of Cleveland that builds on the themes of his book Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity.

Early in his talk, Morino reveals his fear that the hard work of the nonprofit and public sectors is not adding up to enough impact.

As I see it, the whole system sets nonprofits up for struggle and starvation, not for solving challenges. We funders, board members, and civic leaders should be supporting nonprofit leaders to build strong, high performance organizations. Instead, we cause them to think incrementally—month to month and hand to mouth. We often say we’re focused on results. But really what we’re doing is demanding more information on results without paying enough attention to what leaders actually need in order to produce those results.

He goes on to lay out a clear call to action to funders, business leaders, and board members to support leaders who are relentless in their pursuit of social, environmental, and community results in building and nurturing highly effective nonprofit organizations.

For highlights from Morino’s speech, watch this week’s video below. If you’re hungry for more, read his full remarks here [PDF].
What do you think of Morino’s argument that rather than levelling across-the-board “haircuts” to all organizations, we should go much deeper with our support for leaders who make the leap to high performance?

In your view, what are some of the major factors undermining the social sector’s progress in achieving greater impact?

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